I knit these legwarmers (raverly link with all the specs) back in October. I think I finished them in November.
So, this knitting thing is a pretty big deal for me because I always wanted to knit regularly and had never quite found a way to work it into my life. I was taught how, the first time, by a woman whose children I was a nanny for. This was during a summer while I was in college. I learned how to knit hats, on straight needles. So I did that. I made about 4. Then I took a class about 5 years later in Seattle and started a sweater and never finished it. Then for a few years knitted booties and baby hats, but that was about it. Then I tried another sweater, on circular needles, top down, and never finished it. And then I just realized I was okay with not knitting right now, with my life the way it was. And it bummed me out, but I moved on.
But still, I felt like a knitter. I felt like, in some parallel universe, I was not only a knitter, but a good knitter, and one that knitted a lot. And had successfully worked it into my life. I always felt like an avid knitter who didn't knit.
Out of the blue, I'm not sure why exactly, this fall I decided to try knitting again and that it was okay to be bruised by my circular needle nightmare (needles too long, twisted stitches, stressful time in my life) and I would allow myself to try again on circular needles later. This time I would only knit small projects (no vests or sweaters) and that if the pattern called for circular needles, I would give myself permission to knit them on straight needles and sew a seam. This was what I needed.
Since then, 6 projects have been completed since October, the last one being my first successful circular needle/double pointed needles project and I am so happy. I still am knitting small, quick projects—resisting the urge to take on more than I can manage. Another bonus, every time I knit, I have to sit down. I am really trying hard to not become proficient at knitting while standing. This is good, because I buzz around the house. All. Day. Long. Occasionally, I know I need to sit. And now when I sit, I knit, or read to the girls, who always come over and sit with me. Or they start knitting. Sometimes we listen to audio books and all knit together. I have found a way to work it into my life and it is so rewarding.
I think of friends I have that sew, and they sew only certain things because they have never made a buttonhole on their machines, or put in a zipper. So that's it. They don't really consider any project with buttonholes or zippers. I relate with knitting, and am still taking it in baby steps. But, ultimately I don't want to limit myself, I just need to go slow and build one skill at a time.
Since I have had some successful projects, it motivated me to try the circular needles again and the project was a total winner. It's so much easier to try something new (or something again that has been a disaster before) after I have had a few successful experiences. This has required some patience on my part, which is why I made a No Sweater rule. (For now.)
Much of my circular needle frustration was my needles were too long. I didn't know why it was so hard, but I had the wrong tools. That's why. It should never be that hard, and I know this goes for sewing, too.
So, for all you anti-button/zipper sewers out there, if your machine makes horrible buttonholes, get out the manual and figure out what's up. And buy a good zipper foot, if your machine doesn't have one. It should not be hard, and if it is, start looking at your machine, not your own ablitly—which is probably not the issue at all. Then try putting in that zipper and making those buttonholes, even if it seems like a disaster waiting to happen! When you are ready, of course.